(FeaturedNews.com) – On March 23, President Joe Biden sent a letter to Dr. Mehmet Oz asking him to resign from the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition (PCSFN). The request was due to a ban on allowing federal candidates to serve on the board. Referring to the Hatch Act of 1939, some people say Dr. Oz needs to answer for the violation of policy.
The Hatch Act is a federal law that works to keep partisanship out of government organizations. It limits political activity that is allowable for those who work with federally funded programs, such as the PCSFN. The aim is to keep politics and coercion from impacting federal workers. It came about because of accusations that Democrats influenced the Works Progress Administration for political benefits.
Oz is running as a Republican for the US Senate in Pennsylvania. The Biden administration contends that because he’s a candidate in a federal race, the Hatch Act says he cannot continue his service on the council.
Dr. Oz’s Reaction and Violation Accusations
Dr. Oz accused the White House of politically motivated actions by demanding his resignation. He said Biden was politicizing health and made it clear that he would not quit. He forced the White House to fire him at the end of the day on March 23.
I received this letter on behalf of @POTUS requesting I resign from the President's Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition. It’s sad that he would politicize such an important issue like health. The doctor he should ask to resign is Dr. Fauci, for a multitude of obvious reasons. pic.twitter.com/fJaVLKVWOC
— Dr. Mehmet Oz (@DrOz) March 24, 2022
Dr. Oz’s refusal to quit the council is why some people say he is in violation of the Hatch Act. While service is unpaid and mainly an honor, Dr. Oz could have been subject to penalties if he remained with the organization because it is a Department of Health and Human Service advisory board subject to the provisions in the act.
However, prosecutors don’t often bring Hatch Act cases against individuals, especially first-time violators. Even when they do, the civil penalties are minor. But if they did go after Oz, the main result would have been his removal from the council, which happened anyway.
Why the Concern?
So, is there even a reason to argue whether Dr. Oz violated the act? Nothing would change. It wouldn’t impact his campaign in any way either. At best, he would pay a small fine, but it seems unreasonable since the situation basically resolved itself.
Also, there seems to be a focus on Dr. Oz, when former football player Herschel Walker was in the same position. Walker, who is running for the US Senate in Georgia, also received the letter asking for his resignation, and he refused to quit. But nobody seems to worry about whether he violated the Hatch Act. At this point, the commotion over the situation appears to be nothing more than political theater.
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